Brands4U to Monkey Pizza: Lots to look forward to at Al Ghurair Centre

Celebrating its 40th year, the Deira landmark mall continues to thrive with popular food and shopping outlets

Al Ghurair Centre in Deira is the region’s original modern mall. Image: supplied

Dubai is globally acknowledged as a top shopping destination and Al Ghurair Centre is synonymous with that reputation as the region’s original modern mall.

And as we hit one of the busiest shopping seasons, the centre has unveiled a vibrant mix of new retail, dining and experiential offerings to draw visitors all year round.

Brands4U, Retold, Onezone and Mizale add to a potent roll call of stores in Al Ghurair Centre, while food lovers can discover fresh flavours from dining arrivals Monkey Pizza, Maalem Shawarma, Bloomsbury’s, and Abu El Araby.

Celebrating its 40th year, this Deira landmark mall continues to thrive as a significant address for shoppers seeking newer concepts, and long-term favourites.

So what can they expect from Al Ghurair Centre’s latest retailers?

Brands4u has an extensive range of international and local products. Image: supplied

Brands4u - a “one-stop outlet shopping destination for all” - presents an extensive range of international and local products under one roof alongside in-house brands.

“People who visit Brands4u are looking for something new at prices that would not burn a whole in their pocket”, says Vijay Samyani, founder and chairman of Concept Brands Group.

“Typically people at Brands4u gear more towards the purchase of fragrances and footwear as we have the biggest collection for both.”

Currently the store has great deals on ladies footwear, with new sunglasses and watch collections added recently, alongside new cosmetics brands.

“The beauty of Brands4u is that it keeps giving more and more variety to customers,” continues Mr Samyani.

“With summer fading, people start to divert their attention towards winter shopping.

“Brands4u has that covered as it will showcase some top winter products at outlet prices…we are here to make sure they are fully ready for the winter season.”

Kitchen, health and beauty, digital and fashion products, and children’s toys, are bestselling items at Onezone. Image: supplied

Established across various UAE locations, Onezone has now added its popular shopping lifestyle experience to Al Ghurair Centre.

Operations manager Sayid Jawad says Onezone “serves the finishing touches to life”, providing vivid colours and pocket-friendly prices not seen before in the market.

He says best-selling items vary store to store, and person to person.

“While we customise the products as per the need of the season, it always depends on seasonal demand.

“However, commonly, kitchen, health and beauty, digital and fashion products, and children’s toys, are bestselling items at all times,” adds Mr Jawad.

Al Ghurair Centre has long been popular with diners - as well as shoppers - and visitors both new and regular can explore exciting additions for all appetites.

Bloomsbury’s - a UAE home-grown boutique café and artisan bakery brand - has enjoyed popularity for more than a decade, serving a varied all-day menu, from snacks to main meals.

Sajan Alex, Vice President, Tablez Food Company, says Bloomsbury’s fits the UAE’s vibrant food culture seamlessly with its “avant-garde concept inspired by London cafés”.

“It also caters to the increasing populace of health, calorie-conscious and vegan diners with a wide range of health, sugar-free and keto options.

“The gourmet fare at Bloomsbury’s is handcrafted with fresh and best quality ingredients for all bakery and hot food items…chef driven recipes are created from scratch using the finest ingredients available seasonally. “

That embraces myriad flavoursome dishes, from all-day breakfast, soups and salads, sandwiches and burgers to authentic pastas, pizzas and risottos, beside an array of home-made pastries, desserts, cupcakes, cakes, cookies, tarts and more.

Current favourites, says Mr Alex, include The King Breakfast, with an assortment and portion size suitable for sharing, while recently introduced “The B.B.C”, is a breakfast underpinned by Bloomsbury’s ‘baked fresh each morning’ flaky croissants.

Another hunger-busting concept finding new fans is Monkey Pizza.

Founder and chief executive Saif Al Mansoori says it “demonstrates the art of modern-pizza making” with specials not found elsewhere.

He explains: “With a feverishly high-burning oven and handpicked ruby red tomatoes to make our authentic tomato sauce, we craft the most delicious crust pizzas that drive customers jungle wild.

“Customers have various and different tastes in food…our menu was designed to make everyone happy.”

The All American Pizza and Monkey Fever Pizza are among the top sellers.

Mr Al Mansoori is also founder of Maalem Shawarma - another culinary mall newcomer, it aims to charm shawarma aficionados with “real, genuine and delicious shawarma”.

Maalem means “The Master”, says the CEO.

“It’s not easy to master something and earn the title…we have put in a lot of hard work, passion, and dedication to develop the best products and services.

“This includes creation of the finest shawarma recipes, training our staff, developing the menu, and always improving standards,” says Mr Al Mansoori.

Alongside Lebanese, Syrian and Greek shawarmas, Arabic dishes feature, including Mashawi - tawouk, beef, kebab - plus breakfast favourites such as manakish, foul, falafel, and omelettes, and latest addition, the Signature Shawarma Burger.

The Maalem founder describes Al Ghurair Centre as “a city landmark” in an area that is home to a broad population.

“It is rich in cultural and traditional diversities, thus different tastes and preferences when it comes to food,” adds Mr Al Mansoori.

“Al Ghurair Centre seemed the perfect place to reach these new market segments - that’s why we chose to come and serve the best shawarmas, in one of the best locations in the city.”

Diners craving prime seafood will find variety at Abu El Araby - one of Egypt’s most famous seafood restaurants, now operating in the mall.

“The bottom line is the whole experience of seafood from Port Said City, one of the most important ports on the Mediterranean that has its own taste and flavour,” says Ossama Hassouna, general manager, Abu El Araby Restaurants.

“We are specialists in seafood and have special dishes related to our original city.”

The most celebrated include El Oudwan Eltholathy Tajin, Mebakbaka, Abou Alaraby Seafood Bucket, Harb 56, and El Shaheed Abou Elaraby.

Mr Hassouna says diners can admire a “new taste experience”, new seafood cooking ideas, a different atmosphere, and “our traditional music and amazing fire show”.

Completing the new retail arrivals are Mizale and Retold.

The latter is a homegrown business that brings pre-owned fashion at purse-friendly prices.

The boutique resells carefully selected, perfect condition items from high-street through to luxury in a sustainable way; helping Dubai dress up at a nice price while giving garments longer life.

Manager Jelena Dancetovic says Retold is trying to promote change by diverting textile waste from landfills, helping customers make “hard earned money go further” and giving clothes “a second chance”.

She is excited about presenting sustainable fashion to a wider population, “especially in such a well known establishment as Al Ghurair Centre”.

Meanwhile, if your feet need a new look, Mizale provides shoes from brands everyone loves at “super affordable” prices, including latest footwear trends and the newest designs.

For folk seeking a new venue for fitness with mental health benefits, Senseis Martial Arts Club could be the answer.

Part of ​United Karate Group International, one of the oldest martial arts institutes in the UAE (since 1979), it teaches Okinawan Karate, Kobudo, Aikido and Muay Thai to children and adults.

“We chose Al Ghurair Centre because it has been a landmark shopping destination in Dubai since its inception,” says V.A.M Iqbal, Chief Instructor for Shorin Ryu Seibukan Karate. “With the UAE celebrating its 50th anniversary, we got an opportunity to return to the roots of its retail culture.

“We are proud to become part of it, and have a dojo here - in a location that is not just iconic, but surrounded by thousands of families who could benefit from martial arts training.”

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Updated: December 07, 2021, 6:18 AM